Hunting land can mean extra income

By: By Natalie Davis - The Anson Record

The Anson Cooperative Extension wants residents to know they can earn additional income through hunt leases.

“The value of wildlife and hunting is increasing as hunting land continues to disappear due to development,” said Aimee Colf, horticulture and forestry agent. “At times, finding a place to hunt is harder than locating the game.”

Demand for quality hunting areas creates a marketing opportunity for rural landowners to generate additional income. Many landowners want to improve wildlife habitat but cannot afford to without additional income.

All wildlife is public property.

“In a hunting lease situation, a landowner provides limited access for the experience of hunting game, which a hunter pays for,” Colf said. “The value of hunting varies and is based on individual upbringing, individual attitude, past experiences, and personalities.”

Colf said hunting leases usually generate enough income to at least cover property taxes, and can reduce crop damage by increasing hunting pressure, particularly on does and feral hog sows. Landowners, may instead, choose in-kind labor if they need extra help more than income, but there are other benefits.

“Primary concerns for both resident and absentee landowners is vandalism, trespassing, and poaching,” Colf added.

Hunters who pay for sporting opportunities usually provide routine patrols or their hunting lands. Increased presence is enough to deter most trespassers.

Colf also offers suggestions for those considering hunting leases.

“Ask for a sportsmen’s or group’s references,” Colf said. This may be landowners who leased to sportsmen in the past, conservation officers, or key community leaders.

“Lease to local sportsmen; they are more visible and can spend more time on the property,” she said. This also eliminates the potential for local resentment caused by leasing to outsiders.

Proof of liability insurance should be written into the lease agreement. Landowners should make sure the policy cannot be cancelled.

“Sportsmen should pay for liability insurance, with the landowner listed on the policy, and provide proof of coverage and receipt of purchase,” she added.

For a complete list of considerations when developing a lease agreement, types of hunting leases, or sample hunting leases, contact Colf at Aimee_Colf@ncsu.edu at Anson Cooperative Extension or 704-694-2415.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture has a free service to connect farmers who want to offer hunt leases, to hunters to want them http://www.ncagr.gov/Hunt/

By Natalie Davis

The Anson Record